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2013 Investment Climate Statement - Belgium


2013 Investment Climate Statement
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
March 2013
Report
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Openness to, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

Belgium has traditionally maintained an open economy, highly dependent on international trade for its well-being. Since WWII, foreign investment has played a vital role in the Belgian economy, providing technology and employment. Though the federal government regulates foreign direct investment, it is primarily the responsibility of the regions to attract FDI. Flanders Trade & Investment (FTI), Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency (AWEX) and Brussels Enterprise Agency (BEA), attract FDI to Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region, respectively. Foreign corporations account for about one-third of the top 3,000 corporations in Belgium. According to Graydon, a Belgian company specializing in commercial and marketing information, there are currently more than one million companies registered in Belgium, of which 73,500 new companies were registered in 2012.

Measure

Year

Index/Ranking

TI Corruption Perception Index

2012

Rank 16 (2011 Rank 19)

Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index

2013

Rank 38 (2011 Rank 32)

World Bank’s Doing Business in 2013 Report

2013

Rank 33 (2012 Rank 28)

World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index

2012-2013

Rank 17 (2011-2012 Rank 15)


Conversion and Transfer Policies

Payments and transfers within Belgium and with foreign countries require no prior authorization. Transactions may be executed in Euros as well as in other currencies.

On May 1, 1998, Belgium was one of the 11 E.U. member states that agreed to form a currency union (European monetary union), with the Euro as its single currency. On January 1, 1999, exchange rates were irrevocably fixed among Eurozone currencies, with 1 Euro equal to 40.3399 Belgian Francs (BF). Euro coins and bank notes were introduced in early 2002. Old BF notes can only be exchanged for Euros at National Bank of Belgium offices; old BF coins can no longer be converted as of January 1, 2005.

Belgium has no debt-to-equity requirements. Dividends may be remitted freely except in cases in which distribution would reduce net assets to less than paid-up capital. No further withholding tax or other tax is due on repatriation of the original investment or on the profits of a branch, either during its operations or upon the closing thereof.

Expropriation and Compensation

There are no outstanding expropriation or nationalization cases in Belgium with U.S. investors. There is no pattern of discrimination against foreign investment in Belgium.

When the Belgian government uses its eminent domain powers to acquire property compulsorily for a public purpose, adequate compensation is paid to the property owners. Recourse to the courts is available if necessary. The only expropriations that occurred during the last decade were related to infrastructure projects such as port expansion, roads, and railroads. In the future, expropriations to reserve space for nuclear waste storage are still expected, but the sites will not be near areas of existing economic activity. The government of Belgium has decreed that all nuclear power plants will be closed by 2025.

Dispute Settlement

Belgium's legal system is independent of the government and is a means for resolving commercial disputes or protecting property rights. As in many countries, the Belgian courts labor under a growing caseload, and backlogs cause delays. There are several levels of appeal.

Belgian bankruptcy law is governed by the Bankruptcy Act of 1997 and is under the jurisdiction of the commercial courts. The commercial court appoints a judge-auditor to preside over the bankruptcy proceeding and whose primary task is to supervise the management and liquidation of the bankrupt estate, in particular with respect to the claims of the employees. Belgian bankruptcy law recognizes several classes of preferred or secured creditors. A person who has been declared bankrupt may start a new business unless the person is found guilty of certain criminal offences that are directly related to the bankruptcy. The Business Continuity Act of 2009 provides the possibility for companies in financial difficulty to enter into a judicial reorganization. These proceedings are to some extent similar to Chapter 11 as the aim is to facilitate business recovery.

Belgium is a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and regularly includes provision for ICSID arbitration in investment agreements. The government accepts binding international arbitration of disputes between foreign investors and the state; the most recent example is the ongoing international arbitration between the Belgian and the Dutch governments regarding a railway line dispute, the so-called “Iron Rhine.”

The court system is regionalized and the duration of investment and commercial dispute proceedings can vary. There is anecdotal evidence that court disputes can take months or years to resolve. The delays are generally attributed to a shortage of judges to rule on cases resulting in long queues for hearing dates.

Performance Requirements and Incentives

Since the law of August 1980 on regional devolution in Belgium, investment incentives and subsidies have been the responsibility of Belgian's three regions: Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia. Nonetheless, most tax measures remain under the control of the federal government as do the parameters (social security, wage agreements) that govern general salary and benefit levels. In general, all regional and national incentives are available to foreign and domestic investors alike. Belgian investment incentive programs at all levels of government are limited by EU regulations and thus are kept in line with those of the other EU member states. The European Commission has tended to discourage certain investment incentives in the belief that they distort the single market, impair structural change, and threaten EU convergence, as well as social and economic cohesion. Belgium thus has seen its number of underdeveloped areas, into which the EU allowed certain investment subsidies, further curtailed.

Under the Belgian constitution, promotion of foreign investment is the responsibility of the Belgian regions (Brussels-Capital, Flanders, and Wallonia) through the regional investment agencies - Flanders Investment and Trade (FIT), Wallonia Foreign Investment and Trade (AWEX), and the Brussels Enterprise Agency. In their investment policies, the regions emphasize innovation promotion, research and development, energy savings, environmental cleanliness, exports, and most of all, employment. The agencies have staff specializing on specific regions of the world, including the United States, and have representation offices in different countries. In addition, the Finance Ministry established a foreign investment tax unit in 2000 to provide assistance and to make the tax administration more "user friendly" to foreign investors.

Performance requirements in Belgium usually relate to the number of jobs created. There are no known cases where export targets or local purchase requirements were imposed, with the exception of military offset programs, which were reintroduced by the Verhofstadt II government in 2006. While the government reserves the right to reclaim incentives if the investor fails to meet his employment commitments, enforcement is rare. In 2012, with the announced closure of an automotive plant in Flanders, the issue of reclaiming government commitments has surfaced. The Flanders region is in negotiations with the company to reclaim training subsidies that had been provided to the company.

In 2005, the Belgian Federal Finance Ministry proposed a new investment incentive program in the form of a notional interest rate deduction. This was adopted by Parliament, and as of January 1, 2006, the new tax law permits a corporation established in Belgium, foreign or domestic, to deduct from its taxable profits a percentage of its adjusted net assets linked to the rate of the Belgian long-term state bond. The law permits all companies operating in Belgium to deduct the "notional" interest rate that would have be paid on their locally invested capital had it been borrowed at a rate of interest equal to the current rate the Belgian government pays on its 10-year bonds. This amount is deducted from profits, thus lowering the sum on which Belgian corporate taxes (currently 33.99%) are calculated. In 2011, the notional interest was set at 3.8 percent for corporations. The applicable interest rate is adjusted annually, but will never be allowed to vary more than one percent (100 basis points) in one year nor exceed 6.5 percent. Because this legislation results in a significant loss of tax revenues, the di Rupo government decided in December 2011 to limit the notional interest rate to 3 percent in 2012. For 2013, the Belgian Federal government set the notional interest rate at 3 percent for large corporations and 3.5 percent for SMEs.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Both domestic and foreign private entities have the right to establish business enterprises. This right is well established in Belgium's constitution and in law. The right to acquire or sell interests in business enterprises is similarly protected by law.

No restrictions in Belgium apply specifically to foreign investors. Foreign interests may enter into joint ventures and partnerships on the same basis as domestic parties, except for certain professions, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and architects. Additional verification (to confirm equivalence of education and training) exist in these professions because they are subject to liability claims. All investors, Belgian or foreign, must obtain special permission to open department stores, provide transportation and security services, cut and polish diamonds, or sell firearms and ammunition. Food safety regulations require all organizations in Belgium involved in food production (packaging, wholesale, and retail) to obtain a permit from the Belgian Federal Food Administration.

There is competitive equality between public and private enterprises with respect to market access, credit, and other business operations, such as licenses and supplies.

Protection of Property Rights

Property rights in Belgium are well protected by law. The courts are independent and considered effective in enforcing property rights. Belgium generally meets very high standards in the protection of intellectual property rights. Rights granted under American patent, trademark, or copyright law can only be enforced in the United States, its territories, and possessions. The European Union has taken a number of initiatives to promote intellectual property protection, but in cases of non-implementation, national laws continue to apply. Despite legal protection of intellectual property, Belgium experiences the commercial and private infringement - particularly internet music piracy and illegal copying of software - common to most EU states.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

The Belgian government has adopted a generally transparent competition policy and effective laws foster competition. Tax, labor, health, safety, and other laws and policies have been implemented to avoid distortions or impediments to the efficient mobilization and allocation of investment, comparable to those in other European Union member states. Nevertheless, foreign and domestic investors in some sectors face stringent regulations designed to protect small- and medium-sized enterprises. Many companies in Belgium also try to limit their number of employees to 49, the threshold above which certain employee committees must be set up, such as for safety and trade union interests.

Recognizing the need to streamline administrative procedures in many areas, the federal government in 2004 set up a special task force to simplify official procedures. It also agreed to streamline laws regarding the telecommunications sector into one comprehensive volume after new entrants in this sector had complained about a lack of transparency. It also beefed up its Competition Policy Authority with a number of renowned academic experts and additional resources. The American Chamber of Commerce has called attention to the adverse impact of cumbersome procedures and unnecessary red tape on foreign investors, although foreign companies do not necessarily suffer more from this than Belgium firms.

In 2012, the government and the pharmaceutical sector negotiated an agreement to lower the government’s healthcare costs. In exchange for the government agreeing to an accelerated approval process for new medicines, the pharmaceutical agreed to price decreases and price ceilings on certain types of medicine, requesting government reimbursements based on quantities of medicine used (ie. reimbursing for fractions of medication rather than entire box or pouch), paying taxes on marketing activities and decreasing the volume of prescriptions. Some of the measures will be temporary, in effect for a year, but there is concern that they will be renewed on an annual basis.

Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Belgium has in place policies to facilitate the free flow of financial resources. Credit is allocated at market rates and is available to foreign and domestic investors without discrimination. Belgium is fully served by the international banking community and is implementing all relevant EU financial directives.

Because the Belgian economy is directed toward international trade, more than half of its banking activities involve foreign countries. Belgium’s major banks are represented in the financial and commercial centers of dozens of countries by subsidiaries, branch offices, and representative offices.

Belgium is one of the countries with the highest number of banks per capita in the world. The banking system is considered sound but was particularly hard hit by the financial crisis that began in the fall of 2008, when federal and regional governments had to step in with lending and guarantees for the three largest banks. Following a review of the 2008 financial crisis, the Belgian government decided in 2012 to shift the authority of bank supervision from the Financial Market Supervision Authority (FMSA) to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) in 2012.

From November 2011 to November 2012, total Belgian banking sector assets shrunk by 30 billion euros (from 1.29 trillion to 1.26 trillion euros). The decrease in asset size is attributed to the major downsizing and selling of subsidiaries that has taken place with Belgium’s large banks, particularly Dexia.

The country's banks use modern, automated systems for domestic and international transactions. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) has its headquarters in Brussels. Euroclear, a clearing entity for transactions in stocks and other securities, is also located in Brussels.

Belgium also has a well-established stock market. In fact, the first stock market ever was organized in Bruges in the 14th century. At the end of 2000, the Brussels stock market merged with the Paris and Amsterdam bourses into Euronext, a Pan-European stock-trading platform. In 2006, Euronext and NY Stock Exchange shareholders voted to merge the two exchanges. On Euronext, a company may increase its capital either by capitalizing reserves or by issuing new shares. An increase in capital requires a legal registration procedure. New shares may be offered either to the public or to existing shareholders. Public notice is not required if the offer is to existing shareholders, who may subscribe to the new shares directly. An issue of bonds to the public is subject to the same requirements as a public issue of shares: the company's capital must be entirely paid up, and existing shareholders must be given preferential subscription rights.

In Belgium, there are many cases of cross-shareholding and stable shareholder arrangements but never with the express intent to keep out foreign investors. Likewise, anti-takeover defenses are designed to protect against all potential hostile takeovers, not only foreign hostile takeovers.

Competition from State Owned Enterprises

Belgium does not have any State Owned Enterprises (SOE) that exercise delegated government powers. Private enterprises are allowed to compete with public enterprises under the same terms and conditions, but since the EU started to liberalize network industries such as electricity, gas, water, telecoms and railways, there have been regular complaints in Belgium about unfair competition from the historical incumbents, i.e. the former state monopolists. Complaints have ranged from lower salaries (railways) to lower VAT rates (gas and electricity) and a regulator who was judge and party at the same time (telecom). Although these complaints have now largely subsided, one often finds these former monopolies as market leaders in their sector, mainly because they were able to charge high admission costs for access to a network which they themselves had already written off a long time ago. Corporate governance at the boards of these historical monopolies is still deficient. Board seats are occupied by representatives of the governing political parties in proportion to their representation in Parliament. However, board members do not report directly to cabinet ministers.

Belgium has a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) in the form of the Federal Participation Company, a quasi-independent entity created in 2004 and now mainly used as a vehicle to manage the banking assets which were taken on board during the 2008 banking crisis. The SWF has a board whose members reflect the composition of the governing coalition and are regularly audited by the “Court des Comptes” or national auditor. Due to the origins of the fund, the majority of the funds are invested domestically. Its role is to allow public entities to recoup their investments and support Belgian banks. The SWF is required by law to publish an annual report and is subject to the same domestic and international accounting standards and rules. The SWF routinely fulfills all legal obligations.

Corporate Social Responsibility

There is a general awareness of corporate social responsibility among producers and consumers. Boards of directors are encouraged to pay attention to corporate social responsibility in the 2009 Belgian Code on corporate governance.

Political Violence

Belgium is a peaceful, democratic nation comprised of federal, regional, and municipal political units: the Belgian federal government, the regional governments of Flanders, Wallonia, and the Brussels capital region, and 589 communes (municipalities). Political tensions do exist between the Flemish and Walloons, but they are addressed in democratic institutions and played out in socially acceptable venues. There is also some tension within the immigrant communities, which sometimes results in acts of violence.

Corruption

Belgian anti-bribery legislation was revised completely in March 1999, when the competence of Belgian courts was extended to extraterritorial bribery. Bribing foreign officials is a criminal offense in Belgium.

Under Article 3 of the Belgian criminal code, jurisdiction is established over offenses committed within Belgian territory by Belgian or foreign nationals. Act 99/808 added Article 10 related to the code of criminal procedure. This Article provides for jurisdiction in certain cases over persons (foreign as well as Belgian nationals) who commit bribery offenses outside the territory of Belgium. Various limitations apply, however. For example, if the bribe recipient exercises a public function in an EU member state, Belgian prosecution may not proceed without the formal consent of the other state.

Under the 1999 Belgian law, the definition of corruption was extended considerably. It is considered passive bribery if a government official or employer requests or accepts a benefit for him or herself or for somebody else in exchange for behaving in a certain way. Active bribery is defined as the proposal of a promise or benefit in exchange for undertaking a specific action. Until 1999, Belgian anti-corruption law did not cover attempts at passive bribery. The most controversial innovation of the 1999 law was the introduction of the concept of 'private corruption,' i.e. corruption among private individuals. Corruption by public officials carries heavy fines and/or imprisonment between 5 and 10 years. Private individuals face similar fines and slightly shorter prison terms (between six months and two years). The current law not only holds individuals accountable, but also the company for which they work. Contrary to earlier legislation, payment of bribes to secure or maintain public procurement or administrative authorization through bribery in foreign countries is no longer tax deductible. Recent court cases in Belgium suggest that corruption is most serious in government procurement and public works contracting. American companies have not, however, identified corruption as a barrier to investment.

The responsibility for enforcing corruption laws is shared by the Ministry of Justice through investigating magistrates of the courts, and the Ministry of the Interior through the Belgian federal police, which has jurisdiction in all criminal cases. A special unit, the Central Service for Combating Corruption, has been created for enforcement purposes but continues to lack the necessary staff.

Transparency International ranked Belgium 16th in the world in its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index on corruption worldwide, up three positions from 2011.

Bilateral Investment Agreements

Belgium has no specific investment agreement with the U.S.; investment-related issues are covered in the 1951 Treaty of Friendship, Enterprise and Navigation. Belgium has bilateral investment treaties in force with Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, El Salvador, Philippines, Gabon, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Yemen, Cameroon, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Korea, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Morocco, Mexico, Moldavia, Mongolia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Paraguay, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Czech Republic, Tunisia, Uruguay, Russia, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Additionally, Belgium and Luxembourg have jointly signed (as The Belgium Luxembourg Economic Union - BLEU) as-yet-unimplemented agreements with Cuba, Liberia, Mauritania, and Thailand. Belgium and Luxembourg also have joint investment treaties with Poland and Russia, but these are not BLEU agreements. All these agreements provide for mutual protection of investments.

OPIC and Other Investment Insurance Programs

Belgium, as a developed country, does not qualify for OPIC programs. No other countries operate investment insurance programs in Belgium.

Labor

In 2012, there have been some noteworthy changes to the Belgian labor law though many of the main structural conditions remain in place. The retirement age was increased from 60 to 62. Unemployment benefits now decrease overtime as an incentive for the unemployed to regain employment. Historically, unemployment benefits were constant and some unemployed lived off the benefits indefinitely. Finally, during the 2013-2014 budget negotiations, a “wage-freeze” was agreed upon, but indexation would remain. In effect, the cost of labor would therefore continue to rise based on the automatic wage indexation calculations.

Wage increases are negotiated by sector within the parameters set by automatic wage indexation and the 1996 Law on Competitiveness. The purpose of automatic wage indexation is to establish a bottom margin that protects employees against inflation: for every increase in CPI above 2%, wages must be increased by (at least) 2% as well. The top margin is determined by the competitiveness law, which requires the Central Economic Council (CCE) to study wage projections in neighboring countries and make a recommendation on the maximum margin that will ensure Belgian competitiveness. The CCE is made up of civil society organizations (primarily representatives from employer and employee organizations). Its mission is to promote a socio-economic compromise in Belgium by providing informed recommendations to the government. The CCE’s projected increases in neighboring countries have been higher than their real increases, however. As Belgium’s margin is influenced by the projections, Belgium’s wages have increased more rapidly than its neighbors.

The Belgian labor force is generally well trained, highly motivated and very productive. Workers have an excellent command of foreign languages, particularly in Flanders. There is a low unemployment rate among skilled workers, such as local managers. Enlargement of the EU in May 2004 and January 2007 facilitated the entry of skilled workers into Belgium from new member states. However, registration procedures were required until mid-2009 for entrants from some new EU member states. Non-EU nationals must apply for work permits before they can be employed. Minimum wages vary according to the age and responsibility level of the employee and are adjusted for the cost of living.

Belgian workers are highly unionized and usually enjoy good salaries and benefits. Wage increases are negotiated centrally and are automatically indexed to changes in cost of living. Belgian wage and social security contributions, along with those in Germany, are among the highest in Western Europe. In November 2012, Belgium’s harmonized unemployment figure stood at 7.4 percent, below the EU27 average of 10.7 percent. High wage levels and pockets of high unemployment coexist, reflecting both strong productivity in new technology sector investments and weak skills of Belgium's long-term unemployed, whose overall education level is significantly lower than that of the general population. As a consequence of high wage costs, employers have tended to invest more in capital than in labor. At the same time, a shortage exists of workers with training in computer hardware and software, automation and marketing, increasing wage pressures in these sectors.

Belgian's comprehensive social security package is composed of five major elements: family allowance, unemployment insurance, retirement, medical benefits and a sick leave program that guarantees salary in event of illness. Currently, average employer payments to the social security system stand at 35 percent of salary while employee contributions comprise 13 percent. In addition, many private companies offer supplemental programs for medical benefits and retirement.

Belgian labor unions, while maintaining a national superstructure, are, in effect, divided along linguistic lines. The two main confederations, the Confederation of Christian Unions and the General Labor Federation of Belgium, maintain close relationships with the Christian Democratic and Socialist political parties, respectively. They exert a strong influence in the country, politically and socially. A national bargaining process covers inter-professional agreements that the trade union confederations negotiate biennially with the government and the employers' associations. In addition to these negotiations, bargaining on wages and working conditions takes place in the various industrial sectors and at the plant level. About 51 percent of employees from the public service and private sector are labor union members. A cause for concern in labor negotiation tactics is isolated cases where union members in Wallonia have resorted to physically forcing management to stay in their offices until an agreement can be reached.

Foreign firms, which generally pay well, usually enjoy harmonious labor relations. Nonetheless, problems can occur, particularly in connection with the shutting down or restructuring of operations. Many strikes are one-day symbolic actions but occasionally industrial actions last longer. Labor actions did not appear to affect foreign (including U.S.) firms any more than Belgian firms in 2012.

Firing a Belgian employee can be very expensive. An employee may be dismissed immediately for cause, such as embezzlement or other illegal activity, but when a reduction in force occurs, the procedure is far more complicated. For white-collar workers, the minimum standard is three months' notice or severance pay, or a combination of the two, for each five-year period or fraction thereof the employee has worked for the company. In the case of blue-collar workers, the minimum is four weeks' notice or the wage equivalent. Belgium is a strict adherent to ILO labor conventions.

In those instances where the employer and employee cannot agree on the amount of severance pay or indemnity, the case is referred to the commercial courts for a decision. To avoid these complications, some firms consider including a "trial period" (of up to one year) in any employer-employee contract.

Belgium was one of the first countries in the EU to harmonize its legislation with the EU Works Council Directive of December 1994. Its flexible approach to the consultation and information requirements specified in the Directive compares favorably with that of other EU member states.

Foreign-Trade Zones/Free Trade Zones

There are no foreign trade zones or free ports as such in Belgium. However, the country utilizes the concept of customs warehouses. A customs warehouse is a warehouse approved by the customs authorities where imported goods may be stored without payment of customs duties and VAT. Only non-EU goods can be placed under a customs warehouse regime. In principle, non-EU goods of any kind may be admitted, regardless of their nature, quantity, and country of origin or destination. Individuals and companies wishing to operate a customs warehouse must be established in the EU and obtain authorization from the customs authorities. Authorization may be obtained by filing a written request and by demonstrating an economic need for the warehouse.

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics

Table I: Belgian Foreign Direct Investment Position in the U.S., Historical Cost Basis (millions USD)

Industry

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

All Industries Total

23,471

23,379

36,292

74,888

86,021

Total Manufacturing

11,998

8,323

17,034

(D)

50,273

Food

(D)

(D)

(D)

(D)

(D)

Chemicals

(D)

7,827

9,599

9,494

10,980

Primary and Fabricated Metals

390

561

(D)

4,582

4,640

Machinery

464

536

745

1,714

(D)

Computers and Electronic Products

14

12

13

24

16

Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components

35

73

79

60

64

Transportation Equipment

4

(D)

(D)

(D)

(D)

Other Manufacturing

836

(D)

(D)

(D)

(D)

Wholesale Trade

6,429

10,486

11,471

12,626

19,587

Retail Trade

(D)

(D)

(D)

7,776

7,083

Information

7

4

(*)

-7

(D)

Depository Institutions

(D)

(D)

(D)

(D)

(D)

Finance (except depository institutions) and insurance

1,649

862

682

1,539

(D)

Real Estate and Rental and Leasing

42

(D)

45

(D)

-3

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

60

177

38

34

33

Other Industries

31

(D)

(D)

4,154

6,173

Table II: U.S. Direct Investment Position in Belgium, Historical Cost Basis (millions USD)

Industry

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

All Industries

62,491

65,279

44,759

48,496

52,888

Mining

14

12

12

37

62

Total Manufacturing

18,017

22,717

23,681

25,620

26,388

Food

619

1,002

1,592

1,437

1,589

Chemicals

8,024

10,574

12,053

14,734

15,779

Primary and Fabricated Metals

567

478

113

332

465

Machinery

237

976

617

569

682

Computers and Electronic Products

688

862

1,039

747

790

Electrical equipment, appliances, and components

313

307

146

79

98

Transportation Equipment

930

911

638

54

26

Other Manufacturing

6,639

7,607

7,483

7,669

6,960

Wholesale Trade

6,227

5,980

6,982

8,266

9,496

Information

-716

-785

-772

-593

-407

Depository Institutions

(D)

(D)

795

861

810

Finance (except depository institutions) and insurance

29,113

29,917

9,628

9,234

11,328

Professional, scientific, and technical services

2,026

1,309

303

731

1,150

Holding Companies (nonbank)

(D)

2,607

1,133

1,329

1,133

Other Industries

(D)

(D)

2,996

3,011

2,928

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, January 2013. (D) Indicates data suppressed to avoid disclosure of data of individual companies; “All Industries” does not necessarily add up to sum of each sector because certain sector specific data has not been included.
 

Web Resources

Foreign Investment Offices:

Belgium Trade and Industry Associations:

Export counseling:

Other resources:



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